Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – Review

By: M. Spider
Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth main entry into the Star Ocean series. As the name might clue you in on the games are a combination of sci-fi and fantasy. The series as a whole has a checkered past with the second game being loved by most while the third and fourth main titles are disliked by almost just as many. I’m one of those outliers who has enjoyed every main game released thus far and even more so since I love the twist in Star Ocean 3. That being said what does Star Ocean 5 have in store for long time fans and newcomers?

Gameplay

Star Ocean 5 sticks to the gameplay that can make Star Ocean great with a real time combat system and more item creation than you can shake the stick at. Even personal actions make a return which are little side conversations where you learn more about the party and what makes them tick. So far so good sounds like they hit the nail on the head for Star Ocean fans right… well yes and no. While I am enjoying the game I can’t help but nitpick about a number of issues. Anyone who has played Star Ocean 3 will recognize a large amount of animations and battle skills lovingly borrowed from the title and as much as I love to see ethereal blasts animation giving it to Fidel as his rush attack has certainly taken away a little bit of what made Fayt special in Star Ocean 3. Another issue is the way personal actions were handled they feel very forced and intrusive and I end up annoyed by the sheer number of them every time I go back to the various towns. Which brings me to my next point almost the entire game takes place on a single planet which while not inherently bad, after traveling to different planets in previous games seems like a step backwards. To complicate matters while the environments are diverse the number of locations you visit seems very limited compared to previous games.

Off-topic

I would be remiss not to mention I haven’t finished the game yet and have every intention of doing so, but I haven’t been able to even play my ps4 in eight days because holy shit Pokémon Go. I don’t know what it is about it but I have gotten more exercise in the last week than in the last eight months. I can’t stop playing and thinking about when where and how I’m going to catch my next Pokémon. I know the game is overly simplistic and limited but God damn there is something amazing about walking around and catching all the Pokémon like I was 13 again and playing the original Pokémon Red and Blue again.

Back on track

At any rate Star Ocean 5 is sitting at about a 7 out of 10 for me right now. Despite the flaws I mentioned and a few I didn’t as a long time Star Ocean fan I am enjoying my time with the game more than I have with the few of the recent AAA titles I have played recently. However take that with a grain of salt because I am definitely not a new age gamer and perfectly content to play and enjoy games released 20 plus years ago over a number of titles released in recent years. And Pokémon Go has the potential to be the single greatest thing to happen in my life since my wife and child.